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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 27, 2007 7:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: '73 vs. '74

Among those of you who like the early years, do you have a preference between '73 and '74?
'73 has the longer shows, perhaps a more mellow feel....'74 has more abstract jams, a funkier feel. '73 might be a smoother ride, whereas '74 can be very cerebral. '73 has Sunshines and Bird Songs.....'74 has longer, weirder Playing in the Bands. '73 has more shows, perhaps more great moments, and even a Donna-free month....but '74 has the meatier China>Riders, a more developed Weather Report, infant Scarlets, and the Spanish Jam! The Dark Stars wither away in '74.....but it's the year of everyone's favorite, Seastones! Opinions?


(P.S. - Didn't mean to bump the post.
But anyway, think of all the comparative polls we could have.... "86 vs. 92 - Which Year Was Worse?".....or "May 77 vs November 78: Did the Dead Really Improve With Practice?".... etc.)

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2007-11-28 03:26:44

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Poster: acetboy Date: Nov 27, 2007 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

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This post was modified by acetboy on 2008-05-29 22:35:22

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2007-11-27 19:26:13

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 27, 2007 7:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

'73 can be an intimidating year to get into, what with so many long shows....it's pretty consistent though.

It's interesting about Truckin....I think in '72 it almost always headed into the Other One, but that was the year they started exploring the exit jam some more and stretching it out into its own themes - they were selective about this in '73, but especially in '74 they took it so far out a lot of nights, it could turn into anything. It's strange how they'd throw Nobody's Fault in there, too.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 27, 2007 1:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

To me, 73 has the feel of a very polite ensemble, laid back to the point where it would almost be politically incorrect to break into something intense. I really think the band had found something in the studio with WOTF in terms of defining musical moments with subtle passages and phrasing rather than ramping things up to make a point. It carried fairly well for the spring tour, but with the advent of the Wall O' Sound, quiet moments of musical speculation were up in smoke.

This ensemble feel of the band sets it apart from '72 for sure, especially with Pig gone, but 73 and 74 really do kind of blend together. In fact 74 and 76 are, to me, very similar in feel as far as pace goes....just warming up for spring of 77.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 27, 2007 7:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

'73 is a polite, laid-back year indeed, although sometimes they abruptly wake up their mellowed-out audience with a burst of feedback & insect fear. Nov/Dec has some very intense moments. These can be especially surprising coming after twenty minutes of a quiet, introspective, goopy Other One instrumental.

It's interesting that you say the 'quiet moments' were lost in '74 due to the Wall of Sound - I never noticed that, actually.

'76 does have much in common with '74, with more of the jamming feel than would last into the next year, but '73/74 are to me one cohesive blend - like vanilla vs. butterscotch. The first two Dead years where there aren't radical differences from one year to the next, I think.

I prefer '72 myself, especially the spring - not sure what you mean by '72 not having an 'ensemble feel'.
I think you've mentioned before preferring Jerry's '71 Gibson guitar tone to his thinner '72-74 Strat sound? Though I hear a difference in style more than in tone, I don't have trained ears.

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Poster: He Live's Date: Nov 27, 2007 8:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wall of Sound Vocals vs. Re: '73 vs. '74

to the question at hand, of the years 1970 - 1974, i have listened the least BY FAR to 1974. so for me it is 73.

but what of the wall of sound vocals?...i find the vocals really great though ragged 69 - 71, like the sound of the band is there -- they have so much energy and pigpen carries the day, along with the introduction of acoustic sets and the like, and the long motown jams they pulled off best in 70-71...


but the VOCALS of the deep space, one drummer exploration unit of 73-74, pale in comparison, and for that matter the sweet vocals they were doing from 76-78 blow them all away....in pigless years, 76-78 are the apex years for the dead's vocal performances

SO>>>>>what was up with the wall of sound vocally and those split "self-cancelling" mikes they were using? they never got a great blend vocally, at least in the sound of the 'tapes', in the early keith years, was it a product of the sound system?

anyone?

This post was modified by He Live's on 2007-11-28 04:27:04

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 28, 2007 12:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Wall of Sound Vocals vs. Re: '73 vs. '74

Many people have complained about the Wall of Sound vocal-sound....they sound fine to me, so I can't answer that.... I think putting on an AUD tape will cancel out any problems with the Wall of Sound soundboards! '74 is chock-full of good AUDs.

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Poster: gilamonster58 Date: Nov 27, 2007 1:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

That's like asking "Do you prefer the 1985 Chateau Margaux or the 1986?" Subtle differences but both magnificent. '73 is interesting for the sheer volume of new songs and their development but I'd have to give the edge to '74 for the massive PITBs and Eyes. They had a looser, jazzier, more improvisational feel in '74 in my opinion and Keith was never better.

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Poster: gilamonster58 Date: Nov 27, 2007 1:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

Oh, and the '74 Berthas? Funkalicious!

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Nov 27, 2007 1:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

I think you've summed up the differences well. '74 is more focused and perhaps edgier, while much of'73 has a looser, more relaxed feel. I suppose its not a stretch to say the runs at Winterland and (particularly) Boston in November-December '73 anticipate the feel of '74. I'd give it to '74 by a nose.

PS- I am among those who chooses to discount Seastones entirely. Not my bag at all.

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Poster: wineland Date: Nov 27, 2007 9:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

At first this may seem like I am dodging the question, but hear me out. I would have to say the transition between the two years is the most inspiring to me. Late 73 you see something changing. Subtle, and then before you know it, you are in a new era. I think that is what I like about the view when SOTM. You can look down and see all 30 years. I've heard the incredible moments and they still hackle my neck hairs with unbridled excitement. But it is the transition that I love. And at the point when they find their groove in that time and place. When they arrive at the sound they were building up to. And then it is on to a new era again. If I had to pinpoint a sweet spot there, it would be Nov '73. Specifically the Winterland shows, Nov 9 - 10 - 11. They haven't turned the corner yet, but you can tell something new is afoot.

Great post Ashes. Late 79 has this same transition feel that I was trying to describe. Bring in Hornsby for another timeperiod. Maybe that is the beauty of the post-coma 87-88 that I haven't quite seen the light on.

Peace be to you brother.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 28, 2007 1:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

Sometimes the transitions are not so subtle....Jan '68, summer '69, Feb '71 and again in fall '71, and of course Feb '73....

Early '79 does not get mentioned very much, but I think it's a strong transition point (even the Keith shows), with Garcia's style changing from what it was in '78 and the shows more upbeat & less grinding. (Just my impression.)
I think there's another abrupt shift in '80, when they make an about-turn from their more exploratory fall '79 phase and get into simpler jam-lite shows. Then in '81 they go back to more expansive playing. Quite a lot of twists & turns on the Dead journey.

Perhaps someone can make a post explaining the elusive beauty of 87/88.....sounded like ragged "let's-get-it-over-with" years to me!

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Poster: sydthecat2 Date: Nov 28, 2007 5:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

87-89 is a warm-up for 89-90. The trajectory of Garcia's recovery from his coma is remarkable. But I've heard some terrific shows from both years (Toronto Scarlet>Fire '87, Calaveras '87 the 2nd night, New Year's '87, first night and New Year's Eve) 1988 in particular (So What>Scarlet>Fire in Hampton, the Greek run in July (June?).

But let's get back to 73 vs. 74. I flit back and forth like a merry firefly. But I dig early '73 the most because it retains the vestiges of '72. I was a huge '74 fan for years (Freedom Hall! Freedom Hall!) but I must confess that now it's that Spring Tour '73 that really sends me. And then there's the summer RFK and Vancouver shows. Too much! My brother loves '74 because it's the band at their jazziest. He's also a big fan of '77 though.

Ask me next year and I may have changed my mind but I came out of a long '74 phase last year.

Spring Tour '73.

Lasltly check out the transition from Uncle John's into Estimated on Dec. 27, 1987 and tell me if that isn't a tight band!!!

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Poster: yesss! Date: Nov 28, 2007 11:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

first off- this is a great topic. late 71-75 is my favorite era and the band is pretty much evolving the whole time. during this period years seem less relevant in documenting the changes than tours, as each tour sort of has it's own vibe. that said, i think the biggest evolutionary step between 72 and 74 happens right at the beginning of 73. it seems like all of a sudden there is new material (eyes and wrs being the most significant), new playing styles (jerry gets very nimble and articulate and begins to incorporate more diverse harmonic content and use more creative melodic devices, i.e.- gets more "jazzy"), and the overall sonic character of the band's sound seems to change. now i'm not quite sure if this is the result of different micing/recording practices (especially the drums), stage setup (it sort of sounds like the band members are far apart and miced discretely instead of close together with lots of amp bleed), new instruments (early 73 still has the bite of the strat, but wolf brought something new), or just the way that the musicians were playing, but 73 in general seems to have a much lighter and airier sound than either 72 or 74. early 73 still has some of the drive and spunk of 72, but most of the year sounds to me as though they are playing quietly, sensitively, almost cautiously. this works when it translates as conscious and deliberate and respectful, but not when it comes across as timid, weak, or scared. of course there are still bold and aggressive moments in 73 and some really adventurous playing throughout the year- especially fall/winter. 74 continues the jazzy trend and adds a layer of angular fusion and gritty, bluesy funk into the mix. the ensemble sound also becomes denser and dirtier, with the tendency in jams being to play more, faster, louder, darker, and dissonant, as opposed to the looser and more impressionistic washes that characterize a lot of 73 jams. there are still light, beautiful moments in 74 (6/23 jam>ship) just like there are nasty 73 jams, but overall there is less tender and more tough.

blah, blah, jerry, blah... i'll just wrap it up by saying 2/28/73, 6/10/73, 9/7/73, 11/11/73, 5/19/74, 6/18/74, 8/6/74, etc.. lots to love.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 28, 2007 6:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

Thank you all!

Nice description, Mr. Yesss. You should post more often.

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Nov 28, 2007 4:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

yeah, the dead are like this enormous patch quilt, each square containing a new element, or wrinkle in style. the whole body of work is intimidating, and can take a lifetime to digest and appreciate. how old's the mona lisa?

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Poster: Toadsmoker Date: Nov 27, 2007 2:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

The Band was doing more coke in 73 than 74.
74 had some intense jamming and transitions, were as 73 shows large set-list and Bobby in the saddle. Both are premium (as most are) year for the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Some excellent solo projects were happening as well.

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Nov 27, 2007 8:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

VIVA LA 73.love it.jazzy,mellow,wierd,spacey and a good mix of song selections.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Nov 27, 2007 9:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

i haven't heard enough 74 to really answer that, but 73 is absolutely amazing. people call it jazzy, and maybe it is when fierro and co. are playing horns, but it's just the dead firing on all 17 million cylinders. the singing, jamming, sound, is incredible.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Nov 28, 2007 12:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

'74 I think has even more of that fusion-jazz feel - they can spring a half-hour jam out of nowhere, not sticking to a theme but hopping from one style to another. Some have called the '74 playing "distracted" or "worn-out", but I think there's a calm complexity they'd explore more in '75 - for instance the Slipknot theme surfaces in '74.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Nov 28, 2007 1:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: '73 vs. '74

I tend to favor 74 for the jazzy sound but also for the cool China>Riders (although they really started in late 73, but to me the calendar doesn't work as from 11/73 to 10/74 sounds more like a year as late 73 has more in common with 74 than early 73). 74 also gives you Scarlet Begonias!! That said I could live with having to listen to shows from 73 both are great years.

Forgot to mention that i am not a huge fan of the shows they did with the horns in september/october 73. Probably my least favorite WRS/LIGs

This post was modified by elbow1126 on 2007-11-28 09:52:34